A Bermudian who mowed his way around the United States yesterday announced a plan to take his charitable endeavours worldwide.
Rodney Smith, founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Services, has already cut lawns for the elderly, disabled, single mothers and veterans in a marathon trip around the US.
Now he plans to expand his 50 States, 50 Lawns scheme around the globe.
Mr Smith said his next goal was a “7 Continents, 7 Lawns campaign”, in which he would travel the world tending to the gardens of people in need. But he added: “In Antarctica, I’ll have to shovel snow.”
Mr Smith, who started the 50 States, 50 Lawns campaign two years ago, was speaking halfway through his second single-handed lawn-cutting trip around America, which is scheduled to finish on July 19.
He said that he had decided to travel to all 50 states for a second time to, “encourage kids to do our 50 yard challenge,” where participants mow 50 lawns in their own areas.
He added: “The long-term goal is to have chapters and kids all around the world taking part in our 50 yard challenge.”
Mr Smith founded the not-for-profit lawn care service in Huntsville, Alabama, in 2016.
He explained he was inspired to create the charity after he saw an elderly man mowing his lawn.
Mr Smith said: “It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him out. That night I decided to mow lawns for those in need.”
He added that he had “asked God to use me as a vessel”.
Mr Smith said: “He will always show you a way. It might not happen right away but it’s going to happen, just like me. And now I’m doing what I believe my purpose is.”
His efforts gathered steam after his cross-country gardening trek was picked up by the media.
Mr Smith said: “This time around, people are taking more notice, and kids are joining up.”
He added: “No matter how young or old you are, you can make a difference. I’m just trying to encourage kids to get out there and give back to their community”
Mr Smith wants to make the programme a “national organisation”.
“I’d like to see the programme in schools, getting more people involved,” he said.
There’s a big need out there, in some states I have more lawns than I can handle.”
He plans to return to Bermuda and launch a 9 Parishes, 9 Lawns campaign.
Anyone interested in taking part in the 50 States, 50 Lawns challenge can visit weareraisingmen.com